Good Enough for Now: The Field Trip


You might say that it’s bananas to execute a field trip during a 5-week summer school program and you might be right.

We do it anyway.

Field trip chaperoning means not really having enough time to take photos, so here’s a picture of the handout that we had kiddos do on the walk over to the park. Shout out to this kiddo who painstakingly circled all the storm drains on the way over (the field trip had an environmental focus. Kind of.)2017-07-09 20.16.16Other fun quotes and memories:

“MISTER, asì nacì, asì voy a morir.“-one of my advisees, when I caught him swearing (again). Translated: “MISTER, I was born this way, I will die this way.”

I also spent about 10 minutes trying to teach one of our students that it’s impolite to ask teachers (especially female teachers) how old they are. Didn’t get far with that one. Also, guesses of my age, by students: 25, 45, 30, 37, 32, 35. Number sense is getting better, but not really.

Kiddo, umprompted: “Mister, you speak French?”

Me (What?): “Um. No.”

Same kiddo: “That’s what math is like for me! No like math.”

Me: “Oh. Um. Je parle Francais.” (Kiddo doesn’t buy it)

As happens with our kiddos, there is soccer. There are several kiddos sporting honest-to-God soccer jerseys and fancy sweats that are probably out of my price range (and in all fairness, these kiddos probably play on several, super intense teams that are deserving of jerseys and more). When one team slaughters the other, we jokingly suggest that we shuffle players so that they have the same number of “official jerseys” on each side (the kiddos say no). The one female player eventually stalks off, amidst a string of curses. Comments about caballeros (translation: gentlemen) fall on deaf ears.

I play soccer with a few of the kiddos afterwards. I barely made the 8th grade team in middle school. I have not progressed much beyond there (but that’s good enough for now).

What do you observe? What do you wonder?

The One With the Graphing Project Page (Number 2)


Admittedly, I’m not backwards planning this summer unit as well as I’d like to. We spend Fridays working on a summative-esque project page. Last week, we used real data to make graphs. This week was supposed to be more of a focus on using linear functions to make predictions, but we ended spending a worthwhile day making a table and then a graph from a situation. (I also wish we’d done something with equations, but that’s for another time).

2017-06-30 21.00.16Photo: Student work. This kiddo was rather stymied because the (correctly scaled) axes made her graph too small to see the change over time. So we worked to redraw the axes (growing by 5 instead of 10).

What do you observe? What do you wonder?

The One Where the Equation Pushes the Representations


In our abbreviated summer program, we’re going through linear functions. Kiddos are great at tables and pretty good at graphs. So now it’s on to using equations to generate those representations.

I feel like we could probably push more on what the different parts of the equation mean (slope, y-intercept) and I almost wish we were doing more with really big numbers (to make using an equation worth it rather than just counting or multiplying), but it feels important to build intuition around how to use linear functions and equations.2017-06-29 13.52.56-2

Photo: Student work. What do you observe? wWhat do you wonder?

The One with the Extension


Our school/summer program works with a wide range of prior student knowledge. As such, I feel like teachers sometimes talk about whether they feeling stronger supporting students with interrupted education or students who need more of a challenge (the two extremes of the spectrum). For whatever reason, I often think of myself who is (mildly) better at supporting students who are struggling.

So I’m pretty pleased with how Wednesday’s extension went. We started with a 3 Reads problem that I’ve done before (the first one I ever wrote and, surprisingly, one of the strongest ones I’ve taught). It ties in pretty well with the content we’re studying right now – linear functions and volume. Most of the class tried to figure out how many boxes there were be if a certain number of boxes kept appearing every day. The one group that was farther ahead got yardsticks and had to estimate if all the boxes would fit on the third floor, which involved actual estimating and modeling (if you think I’m letting kiddos out into the hallway to roam free during last period, you might be confused).

2017-06-28 13.58.17-1Photo: Student answer sheet and calculations: What do you observe? What do you wonder?

The One with Graphing Negatives


One of the weaknesses of the curriculum we wrote for the school year is that it mostly focuses on graphing in the first quadrant. As I was reminded while writing and pulling activities for this summer, that’s where many of the “real world” problems are. (I know, I know. Not all math needs to be “real world”)

Fortunately (and as a reminder to my future self), problems with money and days can extend into work with negative numbers. My Summer Planning Partner also came up with the idea of using a 4-quadrant axes regardless of where the numbers fall (at some point, School Year Planning Partner and I made the decision to print 1st quadrant graphs so that kiddos could focus on bigger, more easy to see points. Maybe I regret that?)

2017-06-27 18.12.09Photo: Because we didn’t put in a table to scaffold, one (some times distracted) kiddo wrote their own work on the bottom, then made the graph without much prompting at all.

What do you observe? What do you wonder?

The One with Realish Data


We are trying to align our curriculum to the biology curriculum, which has to do with waste management. For our Friday Project Page, we find a few interesting graphs from an actual report. One kiddo asks what MSW is and I have to google it during first period (Municipal Solid Waste, in case you were wondering). I wonder whether the tables and language might have been just a bit too academic, but #IRegretNothing (well, I don’t regret much)2017-06-23-14-50-28.jpgPhoto: Data and graph. Gotta revise those axes.

What do you observe? What do you wonder?